List of best-selling automobiles

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Best selling automobiles are those passenger cars and light trucks which, since the introduction of the Benz Patent Motorwagen in 1886, can lay claim to being the highest selling vehicles in the markets they compete in.

While references to verify the manufacturers' claims have been included, there is always the possibility of inaccuracy or hyperbole. A single vehicle can be sold concurrently under several nameplates in different markets, as with for example the Nissan Sunny; in such circumstances manufacturers often provide only cumulative units sold figures for all models. As a result, there is no definitive standard for measuring units sold; Chrysler minivans has sold over 16 million worldwide. Volkswagen has claimed its Beetle as the best-selling car in history, as it did not substantially change throughout its production run.[1] By contrast, Toyota has applied the Corolla nameplate to 13 generations since 1966, which have sold over 44 million through 2016.[2]

World's bestsellers[edit]

Four cars have been widely acknowledged as the "bestselling automobile in the world" since Ford built its millionth Model T on December 10, 1915. The Model T itself remained the highest seller until forty five years after production ceased in 1927. On February 17, 1972 Volkswagen claimed that the Ford had been superseded by the Beetle, when the 15,007,034th was manufactured.[1] Although The Model T has subsequently been credited with 16.5 million units sold, this anomaly is moot in light of the Beetle reaching 21 million.[3] The Model T would eventually be surpassed within Ford by the Ford F-Series, a pickup truck that is directly descended from the Model T roadster pickup.

The Beetle remained the bestselling vehicle until the late 1990s,[4] when it was itself overtaken by the Toyota Corolla.[5] However, this was an example of the modern practice of applying a brand name across a range of vehicles, and retaining it for marketing purposes even as the car changes.[6] While the first Corolla in 1966 was rear wheel drive and rode on a 2286 mm wheelbase, the current front wheel drive versions share a 2600 mm wheelbase and use a mechanically unrelated platform.

The original model Lada produced by AvtoVAZ of Russia, is the most numerous vehicle ever marketed without any major design change during its production history, with over 20 million units sold between 1970 and mid-2012. The Lada, sometimes known as the "Classic" in the West, was originally based on the 1960s Fiat 124 but mechanically upgraded to cope with poor roads and harsh climates. Between 1970 and 1979, some 5 million cars had been produced. These were badged as the VAZ-2101 (1200 sedan), VAZ-2102 (1200 estate), VAZ-2103 (quad headlights, higher-spec. interior than 1200), VAZ-2106 (improved 2103). Between 1980 and 2012 over 15 million more Ladas were produced, and these were badged for various export markets such as Rivas (UK), Signets (Canada), and Novas (Germany). The car was also built under licence in several countries (production figures unknown). Although various updates were made to the car's bumpers, steering columns and interior fittings, as well as other minor mechanical improvements throughout its production life, the basic, Fiat 124 derived design remained unchanged.

Image Automobile Production Units Sold Years sold Notes
1927 Ford Model-T.
Ford Model T 1908–27 16,500,000[7] 1908–27 The first car to achieve one million, five million, ten million and fifteen million units sold. By 1914, it was estimated that nine out of every ten cars in the world were Fords.[7]
Lada VAZ-2105. Lada "Classic" 1970–2012[8] 17,750,000[9] 1970–2012 The number does not include the platform's archetype Fiat 124 and its other license-built examples (e.g. SEAT 124, SEAT 1430)
1961 Volkswagen Type 1 "Beetle". Volkswagen Beetle 1938–2003 21,529,464[3] 1938–2003 The first car to achieve twenty million units sold.[1]
Toyota Corolla 1966–present[when?] 44,100,000 by 2016[2] 1966–present[when?] The 44 million milestone was reached in 2016. However, the model type has been different over the years.[2]

National bestsellers[edit]

Sortable and collapsible table
Country Image Automobile Years sold Notes
Australia
2015 Ford Falcon (FG X) XR6 sedan (2016-01-29) 01.jpg
Ford Falcon 1960–2016 Over 3,578,689.[10]
Brazil
2007 Volkswagen Gol Plus.
Volkswagen Gol[11] 1980–present 8,000,000, number reached on July 5, 2017.[12]
China
Volkswagen Santana.
Volkswagen Santana 1984–2013 Over 1,670,000 domestically produced Santana up to 2008.[13]
Czech Republic
Škoda Octavia 1st generation after facelift
Škoda Octavia 1996–present Over 6,000,000 to 2016.[14]
France
Fourth generation Renault Clio.
Renault Clio 1990–present 12,300,000 to 2013.[15]
Germany
Volkswagen Golf .
Volkswagen Golf[11] 1974–present Over 25,000,000 to 2006.[16]
India
Hindustan Ambassador
Hindustan Ambassador 1958–2005 4,000,000 until 2005.[17]
Indonesia
Toyota Avanza
Toyota Avanza 2003–present 1,800,000 units sold from 2003 to December 2019 in two generations.[18]
Italy
First generation Fiat Uno.
Fiat Uno 1983–1995 (in Italy) Over 8,000,000.[19]
Japan
Eleventh generation Toyota Corolla.
Toyota Corolla 1966–present
Malaysia Perodua MyVi (front), Kuala Lumpur.jpg Perodua Myvi 2005–present 1,500,000 since 2005.[20]
Poland Polski Fiat 126p rocznik 1973.jpg Polski Fiat 126p 1973–2000 3,318,674 in Poland.[21][22]
Romania Dacia 1310 P during „XXX lat motoryzacji PRL” exhibition at Bonarka City Center in Kraków.JPG Dacia 1300 1969–2004 1,959,730 sold in Romania.[23][24]
Spain
Seat Ibiza IV 1.4 16V Style front 20100516.jpg
SEAT Ibiza 1984–present 3,949,597 up to 2008.[25]
Sweden
Volvo 240 station wagon.
Volvo 200 Series 1974–93 2,862,573.[26]
Turkey
Second generation Renault Symbol.
Renault Symbol 1999–present 260,000 up to 2013.[27][28]
Ukraine
Zaporozhets.
ZAZ Zaporozhets 1960–94 3,422,444.[29]
United Kingdom
1993 Mini Cooper.
Mini 1959–2000 5,505,874.[30]
United States
2009 Ford F-150.
Ford F-Series 1948–present Over 34,000,000.[31] 33,900,000 to May 2010 in 12 generations.[31] Another 7.5 million units were sold between 2010-2019.[32]
Vietnam
2017 Toyota Vios 1.5L.
Toyota Vios 2013–present

Brand bestsellers[edit]

Brand Image Automobile Production Units Sold Notes
Alfa Romeo
1979 Alfasud ti
Alfa Romeo Alfasud 1972–1989 1,017,387.[33]
Alpine
Alpine-Renault A310
Alpine A310 1971–1984 11,616.[34]
American Motors
AMC Hornet.
AMC Hornet 1970–77 Approximately 860,000.[35][36]
Aston Martin
Aston Martin DB7 Volante.
Aston Martin DB7 1993–2003 7,000[37][38]
Autobianchi
1973 Autobianchi A112 E.
Autobianchi A112 1969–1986 1,254,178.[39]
BMW
First generation BMW 3 Series coupé.
BMW 3 Series 1975–present Over 14,000,000 to 2015.
Buick
1986 Buick LeSabre.
Buick LeSabre 1959–2005 Over 6,000,000.[40]
Bugatti
1929 Bugatti Typ 40 Grand Sport Tourer.
Bugatti Type 40 1926–30 Approximately 800.[41]
Cadillac
Cadillac De Ville.
Cadillac De Ville 1959–2005 Approximately 3,870,000 excluding early Series 62 hardtops, 1981–1988, 1991–93, and 2000–05. (Total production for 1981–1988, 1991–93 and 2000–05 is unknown but a good guess is over 1,300,000.)[35][36]
Checker
Checker Marathon.
Checker Marathon 1961–82 10,559 not counting taxicabs and private sales for 1961–63, 1976 and 1980–82 (private sales for 1961–62, 1976 and 1980–82 are unknown).[35][36]
Chevrolet
1965 Chevrolet Impala.
Chevrolet Impala 1958–2020 Over 13,000,000 to 1996.[42]
Chrysler
1961 Chrysler Newport.
Chrysler Newport 1961–81 Approximately 1,920,000 (excluding early Newport hardtops).[35][36]
Citroën
First generation Citroën 2CV.
Citroën 2CV 1948–90 3,872,583. Including commercial variants, the total figure is approximately nine million[43]
Continental
Continental Mark II.
Continental Mark II 1956–57 3,012 (only car produced by the short lived Continental division of the Ford Motor Company).[35]
Crosley
1948 Crosley.
Crosley 1939–42
1946–49
62,210 before introduction of series names in 1950 (does not include 1949 Hot Shot).[35][44]
Dacia
Dacia 1310.
Dacia 1300 1969–2004 1,959,730 (including all generations).[45]
DeSoto
Dodge DeSoto Custom.
DeSoto Custom 1939–42
1946–52
Approximately 570,000.[35][44]
De Tomaso
De Tomaso Pantera.
De Tomaso Pantera 1970–1991 7,260 produced over a single generation [46]
Dodge
Dodge Coronet.
Dodge Coronet 1949–59
1965–76
Approximately 2,060,000 in six generations not counting 1949–53 4-doors, 1953 coupes, Dodge Chargers and Super Bees. (Production of 1949–53 4-doors and 1953 coupes is unknown but a reasonable guess is about 400,000 total.)
Eagle
Eagle Talon.
Eagle Talon 1990–98 Approximately 200,000.[47]
Edsel
1959 Edsel Ranger.
Edsel Ranger 1958–60 50,803.[35]
Excalibur
Excalibur Series II.
Excalibur Series II 1970–82 2,230.[48]
Facel
1961 Facel Vega Facellia
Facellia 1960–1964 1,500[49]
Ferrari
Ferrari 360 Modena.
Ferrari 360 1999–2004 Over 17,000 coupés and convertibles.[50]
Fiat
First generation Fiat Uno.
Fiat Uno 1983–present Approximately 8,800,000 worldwide to 2004. Sold over six million in Western Europe before being replaced by the Punto in 1995, while production continued in South Africa, Poland and Brazil.[51]
Ford
1955 Ford F-100.
Ford F-Series 1948–present Over 34,000,000 America's bestselling vehicle for 28 consecutive years;[31] 33,900,000 in 12 generations to May 2010.[31]
Frazer Frazer Standard 1947–51 Approximately 90,000.[35]
Henry J
1951 Henry J.
Henry J Deluxe 1951 43,400.[35]
Hindustan
Hindustan Ambassador.
Hindustan Ambassador 1958–2014 Almost 4,000,000.[17]
Holden
Holden Commodore (VE).
Holden Commodore 1978–2019 3,130,000 to 2013.[52]
Honda
First generation Honda Civic.
Honda Civic 1972–present Over 16,500,000 to May 2006.[53]
Hudson
Hudson Super.
Hudson Super 1916–26
1940–42
1946–50
Approximately 600,000 not counting 1916–17 and 1940–42. (Production for 1916–17 and 1940–42 is unknown but a reasonable guess is about 80,000.)[35][44]
Imperial
1966 Imperial Crown convertible.
Imperial Crown 1957–70 Approximately 127,000.[35]
Jaguar
1972 Jaguar XJ12.
Jaguar XJ 1968–present 800,000 up to 2005.[54]
Jeep
2000 Jeep Cherokee.
Jeep Cherokee (XJ) 1984–present 2,884,172 in North America until 2001; production continued in China until 2005.[55]
Kaiser
Kaiser Deluxe
Kaiser Deluxe 1949–53 Approximately 130,000.[35]
Koenigsegg
Koenigsegg CCX
Koenigsegg CCX 2006–10 29.[56][57]
Lada/AvtoVAZ Lada Riva 1500. Lada Riva
VAZ-2105/04/07
1980–present 13,500,000 until exports to Europe were discontinued in 1997. Production continues in Egypt.[58]
Lagonda 11, 11.9, 12 and 12/24 1913–26 over 6,000 [59]
Land Rover Defender 110 Series/Defender 1948–2015 over 2,000,000 (approx) [60]
Lamborghini
2007 Lamborghini Gallardo.
Lamborghini Gallardo 2004–2013 14,022 coupés and convertibles to November 2013.[61]
Lancia
2012 Lancia Ypsilon
Lancia Ypsilon 1996–present over 870,000 to 2005.[62]
Lincoln
Lincoln Town Car.
Lincoln Town Car 1981–2011 Approximately 2,290,000 not counting 2005–2011. (Production of 2005–2011 is unknown but a reasonable guess is about 160,000.)[36][63]
Lotus
Lotus Elise 111S.
Lotus Elise 1996–present over 20,000 produced over two generations to December 2004.[64]
McLaren
2012 McLaren MP4-12C.
McLaren 12C 2011–2014 1000th sold by June 2012 in a single generation.[65]
Maserati
Maserati Biturbo S.
Maserati Biturbo 1981–1994 Over 38,000[66]
Mazda
Mazda 323 Turbo.
Mazda Familia 1963–2003 Over 10,000,000 up to 1995.[67]
Mercedes-Benz
Merceds-Benz C-Class.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 1993–present 6,900,000 to November 2006.[68]
Mercury
Mercury Cougar 1967-1997

1999-2002

2,972,784 Excludes Ford Cougar sold in Europe and Australia.
Messerschmitt
1955 Messerschmitt KR200.
Messerschmitt KR200 1955–1964 30,286
Metropolitan
1959 Metropolitan
Metropolitan 1958–61 55,215 as a separate marque under AMC.[69]
Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI TME.
Mitsubishi Lancer 1973–present Over 6,000,000 to the end of 2006.[70]
Nash
Nash Statesman.
Nash Statesman 1950–56 Approximately 340,000.[35]
Nissan
1972 Datsun 1200.
Nissan Sunny/Sentra/Pulsar/Almera 1966–present Over 15,900,000.[58] Ten generations, and four nameplates depending on marketplace.
Oldsmobile
Image:1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme convertible.
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 1961–99 11,900,000 across several platforms and generations.[71]
Opel
First generation Opel Corsa, sold in the United Kingdom as a Vauxhall Nova.
Opel Corsa 1982–present Over 18,000,000 sold worldwide in 25 years and in 4 generations. 10 million of them were sold only in Europe.[72]
Packard
Packard Eight.
Packard Eight 1933–36
1938
1942
1948–50
Approximately 250,000.[35][44]
Peel
1965 Peel Trident.
Peel Trident 1965–66 82 in a single generation.[73]
Perodua Perodua MyVi (front), Kuala Lumpur.jpg Perodua Myvi 2005–present 77,657 at 2010. (or about 1,500,000 since 2005.)[20]
Peugeot
Peugeot 206.
Peugeot 206 1998–present Approximately 10,000,000 to 2018 in a single generation.[74]
Plymouth
Plymouth Fury III convertible.
Plymouth Fury 1959–78 Approximately 3,680,000 (counting VIPs, but not counting 1959 and 1962 Sport Furys and 1975–77 Gran Furys).[35][36]
Pontiac
2005 Pontiac Grand Am.
Pontiac Grand Am 1973–75, 1978–80, 1985–2005 Over 4,000,000.
Porsche
Porsche 911 SC.
Porsche 911 1963–present 1,000,000 produced up to 2017.[75]
Rambler
Rambler Classic.
Rambler Classic 1961–66 Approximately 1,460,000 (including those produced in 1966 under AMC).[35][36]
Renault
Third generation Renault Clio.
Renault Clio 1990–present 12,300,000 across four generations up to 2013.[15]
Rolls-Royce
Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow 1965–80 29,030 produced over a single generation.[76]
Saab
1985 Saab 900CD.
Saab 900 1978–93 908,810.[77] in the first generation.
Saturn
Saturn SL
Saturn S-Series 1991–2002 Approximately 2,210,000 not counting 2002 (sales of 2002 are unknown).[78]
SEAT
SEAT Ibiza Mk4 (2008).
SEAT Ibiza 1984–present 3,949,597 up to 2008.[25] The sales of the fourth generation of the SEAT Ibiza, as well as those of its derivatives (such as the SEAT Córdoba and the SEAT Inca, or the rebadged versions) are not included in the figures.
Simca
Simca 1100.
Simca 1100 1967–1982 2,139,400 Figures include a small number of complete knock down (CKD) kits and commercial versions.[79]
Smart
2004 Smart Fortwo
Smart Fortwo 1998– Over 1,500,000 by mid-2013.[80]
Studebaker
Studebaker Champion.
Studebaker Champion 1939–42
1946–58
Approximately 1,320,000.[35][44]
Subaru
Third generation Subaru Legacy.
Subaru Legacy 1988–present Over 3,000,000 to 2005.[81]
Škoda
Škoda Octavia 1st generation after facelift
Škoda Octavia 1996–present Over 6,000,000 to 2016.[14]
Tatuus
Tatuus FR2000
Tatuus FR2000 2000–2007 Approximately 930 chassis.[82][83]
Toyota
A 1976 Toyota Corolla.
Toyota Corolla 1966–present 44,100,000 up to 2016[2]
Tesla
Tesla Model 3 2017–present ~525,000 by March 2020[84][85]
Trabant
1983 Trabant P601.
Trabant 1957–91 Over 3,000,000.[86]
Volkswagen
Mk.1 Volkswagen Golf.
Volkswagen Golf 1974–present 30,000,000 across seven generations by June 2013.[87] Became Volkswagen's bestseller in 2002.
Volvo
Volvo 240 sedan.
Volvo 200 Series 1974–93 2,862,573 saloon, estate and coupe models over a spell of 19 years.[26]
Willys
1936 Willys 77.
Willys 77 1933–36 Approximately 68,000.[88]
Zastava
Zastava 101.
Zastava 101 1971-2008 1,045,458
ZAZ
Zaporozhets.
Zaporozhets 1960–94 3,422,444.[29]

Class bestsellers[edit]

Class Image Automobile Production Units Sold Notes
All-electric car
Tesla Model 3.
Tesla Model 3 2017–present Over 500,000 by March 2020 since inception.[84] Since January 2020 is the world's all-time best selling battery electric car, and also the top selling passenger car of the more general category of plug-in electric cars.[84] It surpassed the Nissan Leaf (450,000 units up until December 2019).[89]
Full-size car
1958 Chevrolet Impala.
Chevrolet Impala 1958–1985
1994–1996
2000–present
Over 13,000,000 between its introduction and 1996.[42] The bestselling car in America in a single year, with 1,046,514 sold in 1965 including the Impala SS.[35]
Hybrid electric vehicle
2017 Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius 1997–present Almost 4,000,000 in four generations up to January 2017.[90]
Combined sales of the Prius family nameplate totaled over 6,000,000 units in January 2017.[90]
The world's all-time best selling hybrid electric vehicle.[91]
Hydrogen fuel cell car
Toyota Mirai
Toyota Mirai 2015–present 2,840 units by mid-February 2017 in Japan, the United States, some European markets and the United Arab Emirates.[92]
Pickup truck
Ford F-150 SVT Lightning.
Ford F-Series 1948–present Over 34,000,000 America's bestselling vehicle for 28 consecutive years;[31] 33,900,000 in 12 generations to May 2010.[31] World's bestselling truck for 43 consecutive years.[93]
Plug-in hybrid
Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV.
Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV 2013–present 200,000 in March 2019 since inception.[94] The world's all-time best-selling plug-in hybrid car.[94] It surpassed the Chevrolet Volt in December 2018.[94]
Full-size luxury car
Cadillac De Ville.
Cadillac De Ville 1959–2005 Approximately 3,870,000 excluding early Series 62 hardtops, 1981–1988, 1991–93, and 2000–05. (Total production for 1981–1988, 1991–93 and 2000–05 is unknown but a good guess is over 1,300,000.)[35][36]
Racing car
Porsche 997 GT3 Cup.
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 1998– 1,400 up to 2011[95][96]
Formula racing car
Tatuus FR2000
Tatuus FR2000 2000–2007 Approximately 930 chassis.[82][83]
Rotary engined car
A first-generation Mazda RX-7.
Mazda RX-7 1978–2002 811,634 in three generations to 2005.[97]
Single-cylinder car
BMW Isetta.
Iso/BMW/VELAM/Romi Isetta 1953–61 161,728 in all variations[98]
Four-seat sports car
(Pony car)
First 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang 1964–present 10,000,000 in six generations up to 2018.[99]
Two-seat coupe Sports car
1970 Datsun 240Z.
Nissan Z-cars 1969–99
2003–present
1,535,000 in five generations up to 2005.[100]
Two-seat convertible sports car
.
Mazda MX-5 1989–present Over 940,000 in the first two generations to June 2014.[101] Verified by the Guinness Book of Records as the bestselling two-seater, convertible (open top) sports car in history.[101]
Van
0385 Porsche Diesel Bus blau.jpg
Volkswagen Type 2 (Transporter) 1950–present Over 12,000,000 in six generations to August 2015[102] Best-selling van nameplate of all-time.[102]
Second-generation T2 sold for 46 years (1967–2013), longest production run of any van and second-longest production of any Volkswagen (except for Type 1 Beetle).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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